“Who would think, in my Medicare years, I could have such an improvement to my system.” Alyson Kuhn, my dear Yoga and Progressive Stretch student said this to me this morning about her experience in my classes.
“I have taken Yoga classes from Susana for several years and I always feel terrific and energized after a class. Susana is a patient teacher, careful to observe and help students with the poses.
I have also had individual personal training sessions from Susana, and I highly recommend her as a trainer. Susana’s knowledge and energy make our sessions a pleasure (yes, even those crunches). She is encouraging, she is careful about form, and she makes sure that there is enough variety to keep the workouts fun and interesting.
I truly appreciate Susana’s knowledge and her genuine and caring manner. Her professionalism extends to her communications, scheduling, and other aspects of working with her.” – Jamie Sue Brooks
3 December 2015
This is the note I had intended to present to you the day before Thanksgiving, but, alas, I hadn’t written it yet. Although that would have been the perfect time to express my gratitude for your class, Progressive Stretch is no less a gift a week later. Can I articulate why I enjoy the class so much? Can I describe what we do, or how I feel afterwards? And why I am willing to contort my weekly schedule so as not to miss it? I fear I will fall short, but I am going to try. Herewith, my ten favorite things about Susana McGuire’s Incomparable Progressive Stretch Class.
1 – PERFECT BLEND of yoga, stretch, balance, and strengthening.
2 – INTERESTING, GRACEFUL MOVES – My favorites are the “Flamenco Dancer Stretch” (starting with lovely ronde de jambe en dehors) and the “Twisting Swimmer” (which I always wish we would do three times instead of two).
3 – REMARKABLY EFFECTIVE ARM WORK – When I first started coming to the class, back in 2012, we didn’t do weight work. It is an excellent addition, and I love that my triceps are usually a tiny bit sore the next day.
4 – BREATHING – This is my weak suit, and I appreciate your constant, gentle cueing. I think I am becoming a deeper breather. I’m not quite floating on my breath yet, but it seems possible.
5 – TWISTING – This has been a revelation for me, and your variations continue to get more specific and, I feel, more beneficial. Floor twisting, seated twisting, standing twisting — they are all great.
6 – WARRIOR LONG LUNGE – I’m sure this move has a pose number name,! I don’t know what it is, but I love getting into this pose and staying in it and breathing in it.
7 – WARMING – I am always surprised at how much warmer I get during your class.
8 – INVERSION – I love it … despite its being the penultimate “move” in the hour. (Now I am sad that class is almost over…)
9 – FINAL RELAXATION – By this point, I doze off almost instantly. When you ring your little bell, it’s as if I have been away. I actually have to force myself to roll over and sit up!
10 – YOU – Your dedication to our little class is extraordinary. Your energy, your patience, your ingenuity, your consistency — and let’s not overlook your selection of lovely music — combine to make you a superb teacher. Thank you, Susana, from the bottom of my opened-up heart!
Your huge fan,
Chamisal Tennis & Fitness testimonial: “My 95 year old Aunt Margaret has been dependent on a walker, and after a few weeks of chair yoga with Susana, is actually walking around without it more.” – Judy … and in the words of Aunt Margaret who is 95 fabulous years young, “It was fun, Hon!”
“A brief commercial…if you are a certain age, worked out in the past but find what you see in magazines and gyms just too intimidating then you need to connect with Susana McGuire Jewell. She’ll get you back on track and making progress without ever feeling like a loser. If you thought personal trainers were only for the rich and famous think again. They are also for someone who needs a good start along the path.” -Maria Poroy
“Susana McGuire Jewell is a phenomenal yoga instructor who has had a profound impact on my life.
I have consistently trained with her for the past two years on the Monterey Peninsula and I am very pleased with the physical and mental results. Susana incorporates yoga, Pilates, and meditation in her practice. She does a great job of creating a full body workout by adding weights and heart pumping cardio to her sessions. I can also always count on a quality core workout with Susana.
One major attribute that distinguishes Susana from other instructors is that she is conscious of the effects of a corporate lifestyle on the body. She has introduced hand and foot stretches as well as backbends and inversions, which are great for individuals like me who are seated in an office most of the day.
Her classes are constantly evolving and every week she presents new challenges to her yogis. One of her mantras that I particularly enjoy is “if it doesn’t feel good, it’s not yoga.” One of the most valuable teachings I have learned from Susana is to smile when something is difficult.
Susana, thank you SO much for the joy you bring to my week through yoga! I love your attitude and you are an inspiration to your students.”
With Gratitude, -Natalie
“I’ve been taking Susana’s Cardio-Sculpt Class for at least 3 years – it’s a great class! It’s challenging, at times VERY challenging, and fun. It is fun because of Susana and her enthusiasm and encouragement, especially when you can’t quite do the exercise fully or correctly. We do a bit of everything – strength exercises (upper body, core – lots of core, and legs), cardio (you definitely get your heart pumping and your lungs working!), balance exercises, working with a ball (Susana for sure loves the ball!), and then she throws in some dance routines, yoga, and stretches. But you only get to stretch after completing the always abs challenging “climb the rope”. When you’re done you know you got your money’s worth and have the good feeling of also knowing you accomplished something difficult and worthwhile.” -Mike R.
“I have been taking Susana’s yoga and aerobics (aka cardio / sculpt) classes for several years now. In her yoga sessions she is always a calming influence…a great respite from the fast pace of the outside world.
She creates an environment of calm and tranquility, while wanting you to always “feel good”. The poses are fast paced and never boring. She often incorporates something new and different, mixing the new in with classic yoga poses. I like that if you have an injury or trouble with any given pose she will encourage you to do as much as you can.
I always leave refreshed and ready to get back in the race.
Susana’s cardio sculpt class is a lot of fun! A fast paced high energy combination of aerobics, cardio, and light weights. With great upbeat music to help you get your energy levels up. She incorporates a lot of variety to keep things flowing and interesting.
From dance moves, to jumping jacks, to bouncing on a workout ball, to “Chariots of Fire” slow motion running with weights, to the intense “touch your elbows to the ground” mountain climb. Plus a nice calming stretch session at the end. It’s all good fun…everyone is encouraged to do as much as they can…but above all have a good time. A great way to start the day… “ -Steve Fields
“Finding the words to describe how much Susana has made such a positive influence in my life can go on for pretty long but I will try my best to summarize it.
First yoga class I ever tried was with Susana about 3 years ago at Inshape. Out of curiosity I asked the front desk about the yoga class, and was surprised to learn that they were walk in and I didn’t have to upgrade my membership! I had no idea what to expect when I walked in, the class was filled with many different types of people, some young, some old, some men, lots if women. During class I felt like an idiot, I was clumsy, I couldn’t do half of the poses, I interrupted the class asking a question, I forgot a piece of equipment which was a yoga block, but Susana was very sweet, patient and generous! She gave her own blocks to me for the rest of the class. After class she took the time to ask my name, and welcomed me to the class, I was so happy she did that!
After my first yoga class, I felt different, I felt lighter, more in control, evenly stretched all over my body, less sluggish, less achy, and best of all I felt happier, calmer, more relaxed with my surroundings! It was nice, so I kept going back, and I wanted more than that. I went to all of Susana’s classes plus others, and when I started going to other classes…I learned to appreciate Susana WAY MORE. I had a teacher I felt pushed me too hard and I had an injury where I went to the chiropractor because of it, and I’ve had some teachers were too slow and some that just don’t do barely any poses.
There are so many kind words to describe Susana, WHERE DO I BEGIN!? Susana is fast paced enough to feel the workout and stretch, yet slow enough to keep up with. I appreciate how she doesn’t pressure me or anyone into postures, no matter what level of yoga you’re at she is encouraging, and makes me feel like I can be at her level one day. To me THAT is the most rewarding thing a teacher can do is to give their student confidence, comfort, and the belief in themselves.
Prior to yoga, I gained 30 lbs due to bad eating habits. After yoga my appetite changed and I started craving different foods, like veggies, rice, cheese, milk, sweet potatoes, instead of fast food or candy. I stopped eating a lot of junk food and felt more in tune with my body and what it needed, for example when I ate foods that were heavily salted or greasy I would feel that sluggish, heavy, tired, grumpy feeling and I don’t want that. I do crave salty foods sometimes but I learned that sautéed asparagus with just a little butter and salt cooked crispy tastes just as good and satisfies my craving instead of fast food fries. I have lost that weight and I feel much happier, and I’ve noticed other students who have lost weight in her class too within a few months!
Every time I hurt myself from a different workout, I do yoga poses Susana has taught me. Susana has taught me how to heal myself mentally and physically. Plus I just go to her class all the time to strengthen myself, learn new poses, (she switches it up randomly).
Susana is cheerful, beautiful, youthful, energetic, kind, giving, creative, strong, calm, approachable, and treats everyone with respect and it’s wonderful to be in her presence and aura.
I believe yoga has changed my life in ways like losing weight, having better control over my body and mind, being happier, and healing myself from aches and injuries. Something about Susana’s classes makes me feel calm, clear headed, and happy!
I want to thank Susana for being more than a wonderful yoga teacher but for being an amazing inspirational mentor in my life! Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to express how Susana has a gift to help and heal others making this world a better place.” -Michaela MacDonald
“Susana has been my yoga teacher for approximately three years. Despite severe neck/back issues, my progress has been remarkable.
My strength, flexibility, range of motion and balance have all improved.
My weight loss has accelerated and I am once again “thin”.
Susana is an inspiration to me for many reasons. She is kind, gentle and accepts each of us as we are.
She knows when to increase the challenge and encourages us, but has no expectations and she never demands.
Susana takes the time to answer individual questions/concerns after class and she is consistently reliable.
Not only is she physically inspiring, she also demonstrates the serenity and calm of a true yogini.
I cannot say enough good things about Susana. I’m just glad that I persevered despite my chronic pain, discomfort, and “couch potato” mentality.
I know that anyone who consistently attends her classes will benefit in all of the above mentioned areas. I will always be grateful to Susana and I recommend her highly in all of her future endeavors.” –Mlee, Student
“I don’t know where to begin when describing Susana’s class, from what I’ve taken away to why it’s beneficial to join. But if I had to describe her class, it would be “Fun while being focused. Learning patience and getting in tune with your body. Tasking yourself with one job while a sense of calm befalls you.” I had taken a beginner Yoga class before but Susana taught me more advanced poses and how to refine my form with all of my poses. If may not believe me but she has had a very large impact on my life the past 2 years.
Susana is fun, young, and passionate about teaching Yoga that surprises me even today. I’ve watched people come and go from her class and I was always amazed about her perseverance, wondering how she can teach so many classes a week. Then I realized, she REALLY loves it. I’m sure if she could, she would see to it that everyone in the world would do yoga and I would support her totalitarian yoga laws.
On a more serious note, she asked me what I took away from the class and I’ve taken away so much that it’s hard to describe it all. She’ll say “monotasking” is what you’ll be doing in her class and it might seem easy, but it actually one of the most difficult things to do and that I still struggle with. Focusing on one thing, not letting your mind race on your stresses and what you have to do that next day is almost impossible for me. Yet, over the past 2 years, I’ve noticed that my mind will quiet down. She once asked us to imagine the expanse of the universe, your relation to a building and it’s relation to the city, the state, country, planet, solar system, galaxy, universe and my mind just shut off. Also, I was extremely tired, that helped immensely.
She also teaches the importance of stretching, being flexible and how everyday we do things that make our bodies rigid like sitting at a desk for hours. I’ve slowly been able to bend and flex in ways that, in my opinion, no man should ever bend. BUT I CAN, and it’s very fun to bend backwards or headstand and watch the world upside down or slowly fall into a split or watch my leg get closer and closer to being behind my head. You feel relaxed at the end of her class and anyone in any type of fitness would benefit greatly if they added yoga to their routine. It benefits your weightlifting, running, swimming, whatever. It just feels amazing to wake up in the morning and feel your joints crack and your muscles are loose compared to feeling tight and achey.
But the most important thing about Susana’s class if that IT’S SO MUCH FUN! Susana makes a calming environment or, on her Power Yoga days, will make the class upbeat to the point where you push yourself. She’s silly and charismatic and will make you laugh. I love being able to do a tree pose because I’m always surprised at how far my hip goes laterally because of my flexibility, IT’S ADDICTING. I will never stop doing Yoga and I plan on maintaining my flexibility and getting better at it and it’s all thanks to Susana.
Side note, I lift weights all the time and yet Susana still beats me in terms of strength. Don’t let her fool you, she is crazy strong when it comes to isometrics and calisthenics to the point where I collapse in her Power Yoga class and she’s still pushing it. I’m serious, I can lift 405 lbs off the ground but I will fall and cry in a pool of sweat while she will just breeze on by with the workout. WHAT?!
Take Susana’s class, now. Put down whatever computer device you are reading this on and look her up and classes near you right now and go. You will not regret it.”
Thanks for everything Susana. No goodbyes.” -Dewey Tran
“Susana first helped by educating me in what I should be eating to be healthy. With her help I eventually lost over 100 pounds.
Then, she spent a week showing me how to exercise using yoga, cardio and weights, so that I can now build muscle tone and be strong.
Her calm patient manner made the learning very enjoyable. I had never before tried any of these exercises, but she made sure I understood not only how, but also why to do each one of them.
I highly recommend Susana as a Personal Trainer.”
Thank You Suzy! -Kathy McGuire
Testimonial from a student who has been with me for over 12 years:
“Susana is an excellent yoga teacher with perfectly executed poses. She always explains the poses and the benefits. Her classes are varied – sometimes easier, sometimes more challenging.
I started Susana’s yoga class in 2003 when I was 66 years old. I was in fair shape, but struggled going from cat to dog to plank. Susana always told us to do what you can, or go to child pose to rest.
She also told us how long it took her to perfect her poses, which encouraged me a lot. I appreciated her pushing us to twist more and use our eyes. I have done eye exercises for years and do not wear glasses to read or to drive.
Now after 12+ years of yoga with Susana, (I’m 78 now) I’m easily doing most of the poses really well. I’m getting closer to splits and hopefully before I’m 80 will accomplish that pose too.
Susana’s classes and music always leave me relaxed, renewed and refreshed with well stretched muscles.
Thank you Susana, you’ve helped my so very much.” -Arlene Lee
“I feel strong because of you.” -Lisa, Student
“I have taken Yoga classes from Susana for several years and I always feel terrific and energized after a class. Susana is a patient teacher, careful to observe and help students with the poses and with proper form. She is always able to suggest an adjustment or alternative if a move is uncomfortable for a student. Susana’s love for Yoga and for teaching are evident in her warmth and enthusiasm in every class.
I have also had individual personal training sessions from Susana, and I highly recommend her as a trainer. Susana’s knowledge and energy make our sessions a pleasure (yes, even those crunches). I have learned so much from Susana about using weights, about interval training, about the body’s musculature, and lots more. She is encouraging, she is careful about form, and she makes sure that there is enough variety to keep the workouts always interesting and to provide alternatives if an activity is uncomfortable in any way. Susana is generous with her knowledge and often sends me emails with helpful information, including some short videos she’s made, to help me practice stretches and other activities.
Susana’s knowledge, her genuine and caring manner, and her encouragement are much appreciated. Her professionalism extends to her communications, scheduling, and other aspects of working with her. I love opening my door to find a smiling Susana, ready to get me moving and inspire me!” -Jamie Sue Brooks
“My first experience with Susana was in her yoga and Pilates classes.
I have been a steady walker and am in generally good shape, but I knew that I needed some additional fitness work.
When Susana announced that she had completed her fitness training certification, I asked her to coach me in particular in strength training. In addition to introducing me to interval training (which adds to the effectiveness of my walking), Susana has taught me a variety of strength and resistance moves, reviewed and discussed my health goals and concerns, and answered my many questions.
Susana has walked me through a number of workouts, checking my form, showing me variations; explaining details.
She has brought so much energy and fun to the workouts that it makes up for my sometimes flagging energy.
While I had never thought of Susana as a “jock,” she can certainly hold her own against most of the jocks at the gym. I’m so impressed with her knowledge, her strength and stamina, and her ability to so kindly but firmly keep me on track.” -Jamie Sue Brooks
“You moved all the muscles of my body, and now I’m ready for the rest of the day.” -Ivanka, Student
“I was just talking with the other ladies about how grateful we are for your Progressive Stretch class. I feel like I am aging gracefully. I feel strong.” -Student, Progressive Stretch Class Carmel InShape
“It is such a treat to be a student of Miss Susana’s Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday yoga class at the In-Shape Facility in Monterey California. I have been attending for at least 2+ years for these main reasons:
• She creates a comfortable atmosphere.
• She guides us through yoga poses in a smooth and gentle manner.
• She is attentive to each participant.
• She is unfailing in her attendance and time as an instructor.
• She is fun.
Mis Susana’s yoga class is welcoming, from the time we enter to when we conduct our very last pose. She is focused on the total well-being of the class and sets the tone through the temperature of the room, music, lighting, and noise level. All of these factor into our enjoyment of the class.
I can only describe the actual instruction from Miss Susana in class as ‘liquid’ because we move from pose to pose in such a fluid-like manner. Each and every movement is drawn from the pose that precedes it and immediately connects to the pose that follows it. From beginners to advanced members, our class looks suave and graceful as we progress through each pose due to her great direction and demonstration.
As numerous as they are, Miss Susana is well aware of her class members. She recognizes new and/or familiar faces right away, and she can perceive the varying levels of proficiency in her class. Her pace can accommodate the most hurried class member to the most sedated one.
We can always count on Miss Susana to be punctual and present for class. In the rare cases in which she must be absent, she graciously sends in a capable substitute to instruct us. As a member of her hour-long class, I appreciate that she provides us with 60 minutes of uninterrupted instruction and doesn’t waste any of the allotted time with any irrelevant activities or distractions that take away from our class time.
Miss Susana makes her yoga class enjoyable through her amusing and playful attitude. This is evident when we end up smiling as she guides us through clawing and growling in the lion’s roar pose.
I consider it a great privilege to write this letter for Miss Susana explaining why I attend her class and why I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone seeking to practice yoga.”
“I had the pleasure of working one-on-one with Susana for two months. Not only was Susana knowledgeable and prepared, but she joined with me in the exercises that were clearly designed to work all the key muscle groups and promote my overall fitness. Cardio and weights were part of each session. She even incorporated elastic bands for resistance training.
Susana made each workout fun and spiced each one up with variety from week to week. Her personality and warmth made it a delight to be with her. Her encouragement and personal coaching made a big difference for me and I saw improvement in the time I was there. I highly recommend Susana as a personal fitness trainer! -Sara Ivie
“I have known Susana McGuire Jewell for approximately six years.
Susana is dedicated, energetic, positive and inspiring. She is a friend as well as a support in improving my overall physical well-being.
This is why I chose Susana for my yoga instructor. I highly recommend Susana to others due to her dedication, expertise, and energetic and positive vibe that she emits.” -Maribel
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